Jerusalem, Erev Purim 5774, 2014
I am beginning a new inquiry into Amelek this year in Jerusalem. What is it that I want to blot out the memory of, and that I never want to forget?
There is so much that I never want to forget. I never want to forget the way my heart opens and lifts when I take in the blue sky, the ocean, a bird song, a field of flowers. I never want to forget the energy of connection and love when I smile at a friend or loved one and he or she smiles back. I never want to forget the loving welcome I always received from my grandmother when I returned from youthful wanderings, and from my daughters, family and friends when I return from the wanderings of this age.
These are things I never want to forget, and I certainly don’t want to blot out the memory of.
What are the things that I never want to forget and that I want to blot out the memory of?
There are experienced events in my life and in the lives of people around me that have triggered Fear, Anger, hopelessness, helplessness and Hatred. When the memory of these experiences actively live in and occupy my being, I am in a state of trigger or trauma- I can’t tell past from present, I can’t tell the difference between what is happening now and the memory I am triggered back to; the past pain and fear take over and I lose access to the present moment. I lose access to self awareness and ways of connecting myself to choice- I am triggered and on automatic pilot and I don’t know I am and I don’t know how to get off of it.
I want to blot out the memory of these events in the sense that I want to heal the trauma so it doesn’t live in my body, spirit and emotional life, ready to take over when something challenging is going on in the present.
And I want to remember these painful events because I want to remember that I have survived them, maybe even grown from some of them. I want to live fully awakened to experience, to learn how to not turn way from suffering ( my own and others’s ). I want to learn from experience, I want to learn to dive into the darkness and stay connected to the light. So I never want to forget what has happened.
And at the same time, I don’t want to be haunted by what has happened. I don’t want to inhabit a body of fear and bitterness and suspicion. This cuts me off from life and possibility. I don’t want to be occupied by a trauma that can be exploited by others, that can become an excuse for violence, hatred and bigotry.
This fear body or pain body weakens my life energy, my capacity to live and connect and trust. In that state, there is no healing from separation, pain and hurt. It only leads to perceiving myself as victim or choiceless. It is the opposite of empowered and free.
Encountering this Amalek is empowering me. I can look face to face at the forces that challenge me, and never forget them because I know that it is possible to heal from the emotional and physical scars they leave behind. I can heal and open into a new reality, awakened and free, and choose a life path that comes from connection and celebration of life.